A controlled trial of hospital versus home-based exercise in cardiac patients

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ARTHUR, H. M., K. M. SMITH, J. KODIS, and R. MCKELVIE. A controlled trial of hospital versus home-based exercise in cardiac patients. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 10, pp. 1544–1550, 2002.BackgroundLarge numbers of patients who stand to benefit from the exercise training component of cardiac rehabilitation are not being served due to access issues. Home-based exercise training may be a potentially useful alternative to training in institutional environments.PurposeThe purpose of this study was to examine the benefit of 6 months of hospital-based exercise training versus 6 months of monitored, home-based exercise training with respect to physical, quality of life, and social support outcomes in patients after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.MethodsRandomized controlled trial of “direct-to-home” (Home;N = 120) versus “direct-to-hospital” (Hosp;N = 122) exercise training, 35–49 d post CABG surgery. The primary outcome was peak exercise capacity, measured by peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2) on a symptom-limited cycle ergometer exercise test. Secondary outcomes were health-related quality of life (measured by the SF-36) and social support (measured by the ISEL). Measurements were taken at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of exercise training.ResultsThe study groups had similar demographic and health profiles at baseline. Peak V̇O2 improved significantly in both groups after 6 months of exercise training; 36% in the Hosp group (1222.1 ± 269.0 mL·min−1 to 1497.2 ± 594.3 mL·min−1;P < 0.0001) and 31% in the Home group (1260.3 ± 306.5 mL·min−1 to 1433.4 ± 589.7 mL·min−1;P < 0.05). The Home group reported greater total social support than the Hosp group at 3 (36.2 ± 4.5 vs 34.0 ± 6.7;P < 0.0001) and 6 months (36.0 ± 4.9 vs 34.6 ± 6.4;P = 0.05). The Home group demonstrated a greater improvement in health-related quality of life (physical) by 6 months in comparison to the Hosp patients (51.2 ± 6.4 vs 48.6 ± 7.1;P = 0.004).ConclusionThis study suggests that low-risk CABG surgery patients may be served as well or better with a monitored, home-based exercise program than with an institution-based program.

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